Rebellious Poets and Radical Spirits: Indian Parallel Cinema – Il Cinema Ritrovato

(20 – 27 July 2021, Bologna, Italy) The new strand on Indian Parallel Cinema that I have co-curated with Cecilia Cenciarelli and Shivendra Dungarpur showcases some of the best examples of the early years of Parallel Cinema, which we have titled ‘The Foundational Years’ (69 – 76). This eclectic strand with a strong regional slant… Continue reading Rebellious Poets and Radical Spirits: Indian Parallel Cinema – Il Cinema Ritrovato

Chokh / The Eyes (Dir. Utpalendu Chakraborty, 1982, India/Bengali)

The eyes speak, harbouring and chronicling histories, emotional sentiments and even memories. Chokh, a stark political exercise in neorealist aesthetics, opens with the petrified eyes of Jadunath (Om Puri in blistering form) who looks directly at us with a totalizing gaze of defiance. Jadunath, a union leader, has been convicted of murder, and waits impatiently… Continue reading Chokh / The Eyes (Dir. Utpalendu Chakraborty, 1982, India/Bengali)

GHATASHRADDHA / THE RITUAL (Dir. Girish Kasaravalli, 1977, India [Kannada])

The opening titles of Ghatashraddha unfold over the bark of a tree in close up, an abstract image that has an unremitting primordial sentiment. Juxtaposed to this singular image is a rhythmic drum beat that is violently out of control, characterising the ways in which Girish Kasaravalli intends to disrupt with a rejoinder to religious… Continue reading GHATASHRADDHA / THE RITUAL (Dir. Girish Kasaravalli, 1977, India [Kannada])

BHUVAN SHOME (Dir. Mrinal Sen, 1969, India) – ‘Big Bad Bureaucrat Reformed by Rustic Belle’

I’ve only really started to look at Bhuvan Shome so here are some tentative thoughts about the film, which I hope to return to at a later date. Bhuvan Shome is often cited as having initiated the New Indian Cinema movement. Released in 1969, along with Sara Akash and Uski Roti, as a triptych, the films… Continue reading BHUVAN SHOME (Dir. Mrinal Sen, 1969, India) – ‘Big Bad Bureaucrat Reformed by Rustic Belle’